Combat Flight Sims of the 1980's

1980 - 1981 - 1982 - 1983 - 1984 - 1985 - 1986 - 1987 - 1988 - 1989

Before 1980

1970s - Combat flight sims




Nightflite (Sinclair Spectrum)


Fighter Pilot by Digital Integration

Fighter Pilot by Digital Integration.

Fighter Pilot by Digital Integration was the first combat flight simulation from the British developer Digital Integration.

There were a number of successive versions created for several platforms over a period of a few years, which makes it harder to determine the release date of the original, but it was probably in 1983. The game earned distinction of being the first attempt at simulating the undoubtedly complex F-15 Eagle interceptor.

Specs :

Hellcat Aces

Intercepteur Cobalt



Jet - 1980's Jet Combat. Jet - 1980's Jet Combat. Jet - 1980's Jet Combat. Jet - 1980's Jet Combat. Jet - 1980's Jet Combat.
Jet was developed by Charles Guyusing Bruce Artwick's technology. He adapted it for the IBM-PC.

Bruce Artwick, programmer of Flight Simulator I and Flight Simulator II.
Bruce Artwick

Red Baron 1983

Red Baron 1983

Red Baron 1983



Combat Lynx

Combat Lynx - 1984.

Combat Lynx by Durell Software ... released in 1984, allowed you to fly the Westland Lynx in a ground Attack role. This must qualify for the most esoteric combat sim of all time!

It was released for the Sinclair Spectrum with 48K of RAM and the Commodore 64.

Dam Busters

The Dam Busters - Commodore 64 in 1984.

Dam Busters consisted of just one mission.

It simulated the daring raids against dams in the Ruhr Valley which were heavily protected by flak emplacements and fighter patrols guided by German radar. The bombs were dropped with a back-spin (like a cricket ball), skipped along the surface of the water and then dove to the base of the dam before exploding.

The Dam Busters sim was the first one to involve multi-tasking. You could be pilot, engineer, gunner or bomb aimer - in fact you had to do all at some point in the mission. Not a bad effort for 1984!

Delta Wing

MiG Alley Ace


Skyfox - 1984.

Skyfox by Ray Tobey came out in 1984 and I first played this on my 8-bit Apple II.

With the extra memory card the Apple II had a whole 64K of ram to fly with !


Solo Flight was released in 1984 on the Atari 800 and Commodore Amiga.

SoloFlight - Solo Flight was released in 1984 on the Atari 800 and Commodore Amiga

Specs :

Spitfire '40

Spitfire Ace


Air Strike USA

F-15 Strike Eagle IF-15 Strike Eagle I

F-15 Strike Eagle I - 1985

F-15 Strike Eagle IF-15 Strike Eagle I

This sim pushed 1980's technology to the limit. It looks crude now but consider that it ran on a 286 processor at 8 MHz and it wasn't too shabby! And how about this - The original code weighs in at a hefty 53 K !!!!!!!

F-16 Fighting Falcon - 1985

F-16 Fighting Falcon - forerunner of the Falcon series - was developed by Nexa and published by SEGA in 1985.

In 1984, Gilman Louie and Les Watts wrote F-16: The Real Dogfight Simulator for the MSX, a Japanese computer. From the outset, Gilman wanted players to be able to compete against each other in aerial combat... F-16 Fighting Falcon - 1985

Harrier Strike Mission


Super Huey and Super Huey 2 by Cosmi - 1985 Super Huey and Super Huey 2 by Cosmi - 1985

Superhuey was released in 1985 by Cosmifor the Commodore 64.

The upgrade Super Huey 2 added extra missions :
  1. Renegade
  2. Brush Fire
  3. Gulf of Terror
  4. Arctic Rescue
  5. Oil Blaze




A.C.E. (Air Combat Emulator)

Specs :

Ace of Aces Ace of Aces

An early Mosquito sim -maybe the ONLY Mosquito sim released until Mosquito Squadronfor Microsoft Combat Flight Sim 2 in the 2000's.


Skychase by Broderbund. Skychase by Broderbund.

Skychase by Broderbund was a simple dogfight simulator released in 1987 where you flew against a computer or another human player using a split screen, like Topgun.

Spitfire '40

Specs :

Strike Force Harrier


Air Warrior

Air Warrior



Falcon AT

Falcon AT

Specs :

Falcon 2.2 - the Mac version

Gunship (1987)

Gunship - 1980's Apache sim.

In Gunship (1987)the mission generation was endless with a primary and secondary to complete and the briefings had everything you needed for the coming mission. It also had basic radio comms, with password and countersigns being used during the battle - give the wrong response twice and you start getting hunted by your own side!




Top Gun

Top Gun


A.C.E. 2

Afterburber by SEGA
Title - Afterburner by Sega
Release Date - 1988
Developer - Sega
Publisher - Activision
Collection - - Yes. Donated by Simon Robbinsin 2001.
Comments - Although this was an arcade game rather than a sim it is worth a mention because it had a pretty good moving cockpit in the arcades and it probably got many people interested in flight sims. Well it may have! Anyway the fact remains that if you tell someone that you're into Flight Simulators there is a pretty good chance they'll say "Oh, yeah - like Afterburner!"

MiGMan thanks Simon Robbins for donating this sim to the Museum collection.
B-24 - 1988
Title - B-24
Release Date - 1988
Developer -
Publisher - Strategic Simulations Inc
Collection - - Yes.
Comments -

Battlehawks 1942

Battlehawks 1942

Exhibit - Carrier Command (1989)
Release Date - 1989
Platform - Atari St, PC, Commodore Amiga and Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Developer - Rainbird Software.
Publisher - Realtime Games Software.
In collection - Yes
Comments - One of the earliest and most addictive real time strategy games. It also had flight simulation components. I had the Atari ST version, a friend had the PC version.... it cracked me up that the enemy carrier steamed away at about 400 knots every time you got near it! I remember chasing that darn thing for weeks! When I finally caught up with it created about 5 saved games and pounded the carrier every which way! Dive Bomber

Specs :

F/A-18 Interceptor F/A-18 Interceptor

F/A-18 Interceptor was written by Bob Dinerman who was the force behind the later Jetfighter series from Mission Studios.

Containing only 5 missions, yes, that's F I V E MISSIONS - this 1988 sim nonetheless amused and entertained sim fans around the world for months at a time.

F-19 Stealth Fighter (1989)

F-19 Stealth Fighter

F-19 Stealth Fighter (1989) - The F117A Stealth Fighter was one of the best kept secrets in aviation history, being in service about 10 years before anyone got a good look at it. The F-19 was the nearest guess for a long time. When the plane was finally unveiled, Microprose revised this sim accordingly and released it as F-117A Stealth Fighter.

Harrier Combat Simulator

Title - Jetfighter
Release Date - 1990
Developer - Velocity
Publisher -
Collection - -
Comments - The start of one of the most successful combat sim series ever.